Breathing is so easy you can do it in your sleep…what’s interesting is that it’s much more difficult when you’re actually awake and aware of it. The importance of simply interrupting your crazy life from time to time to focus on your breathing recently hit me, at the most unexpected time.
Fatherhood is relatively new to me. I have a two year old little boy as well as a 3 month old baby girl, both of whom are the most beautiful things on this planet, next to my lovely wife. During the first month of her life, my daughter had it pretty rough. She had been experiencing a lot of belly pain and reflux that led to her crying pretty much anytime she wasn’t eating or sleeping. As you would imagine, that led to some pretty exhausting nights after also working a full-time job during the day – props to my wife for dealing with it all day long.
One night while trying to calm her down around 2-3am (I think, although everything at those hours is a bit blurry), I held her and found myself getting more and more anxious the more she kept crying. Nothing I did helped – feeding, changing, rocking…nothing. I felt my breathing getting a bit more intense and started to lose my cool, which certainly wasn’t helping matters. As I became more aware of my breathing, I started counting to myself and my brain jumped to one of my favorite tracks by the great Jay-Z, Lyrical Exercise.
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 … breathe easy
The song never jumped out to me as providing a larger lesson for life and showing the importance of controlling your breathing to calm yourself down and gain control of a situation. Maybe Jay had that in mind, or maybe he was just talking about his delivery when rapping, but either way it was speaking to me in the wee hours of that morning.
Regulating my breathing helped me control the situation and soon, I found that my daughter followed suit. As I caught my breathe, she began to do the same and soon we were both calm and able to get some rest.
Control your breathing, control the situation, achieve the desired outcome.
Image from: https://www.pinterest.com/marilusa/o/